Nature + Green  


The History of Berlin's Urban Green Space

Development of Urban Green Space in United Berlin since 1990

1990 to 1999

With German reunification on October 3, 1990 the two city sectors of Berlin were brought together again, and as of January 1, 1991, a common administration for the entire city was created. Until 1999, Erhard Mahler headed the Division of Landscape Development and Open-Space Planning. Only shortly after reunification, the decision was made to set up a landscape programme including nature conservation for the entire city area. After being decided upon by the Berlin state government and approved by the House of Representatives, it came into effect on June 13, 1994. After over fifty years, there was now once again a spatial-policy guideline planning procedure for the entire city. The landscape programme includes the sub-plans “The Ecosystem and Environmental Protection,” “The Protection of Biotopes and Species,” “The Landscape Scenery” and “Recreation and the Use of Open Space.” (all German only)
The landscape programme shows an “inner park ring” around the densely developed city center, which essentially consists of existing public parks, allotment gardens and cemeteries. These facilities are to be supplemented by new parks, such as the Mauerpark (Berlin Wall Park, in German) (see map: no. 1), the Stadtpark Eldenaer Straße (Eldenaer Straße City Park), (no. 2), the Schöneberger Südgelände (Schöneberger Südgelände Nature Park, in German), (no. 5), the Gleisdreieck (no. 6), (both former railway yards), and the park at Nordbahnhof Station (no. 7). At the edge of the developed urban area, the landscape programme provides for a second park ring. Here too, existing parks are to be supplemented by new facilities, like the Landschaftspark Rudow-Altglienicke (Rudow-Altglienicke Landscape Park), (no. 13), the Volkspark Johannisthal (Johannisthal Public Park), (no. 14) and the new near-urban recreational area, the 3,200 ha Naturpark Barnim (Barnim Nature Park) on the Barnim plateau (no. 17) in the north and northeast of Berlin. The city center is connected with the surrounding areas, and the parks and green spaces are interconnected, by green connections along the rivers, canals and rail lines.
After 1990, the terrain of the Berliner Gartenschau in Marzahn (Berlin Garden Show in Marzahn) was rebuilt into a recreation park. Starting in 1997, the largest Chinese Garden in Europe was built here on 2.7 ha, and opened to the public in October 2000.
Since then, several other special gardens were built and integrated in the park, which today is better known by its new name: "Gärten der Welt" im Erholungspark Marzahn (Gardens of the World in Marzahn Recreational Park, in German). The gardens are typical examples of garden art from all over the world, most of which had a lasting influence on todays garden design. The up to now last garden, the Christian Garden, was opened on 29 April 2011.
The further development of the Berlin city center is to be determined according to the traditions of the “European city.” The concept known as the Inner-City Master Plan is an endeavor to further develop the identities of the historic center in eastern Berlin and the western downtown area structurally, creatively and spatially. The city center is to be densified, with forty percent of the built-up area assigned to residential space and sixty percent for office utilization. The spatial concept makes a clear distinction between public and private space. Public spaces (city squares, city gardens, pocket parks, city parks, tree-lined street areas and front yards) are to have high use value. The basic unit of private open space is the “Berlin courtyard,” in its wide variety of forms. The types of open space, such as open residential-area green space, extensive transportation-proximate green space, or spontaneously greened areas, which have arisen in the postwar era, are to be assigned to the categories of public and private open space.
Important open-space projects were created in the context of the reconstruction of the government district, including the Platz der Republik, the Spreebogenpark (Spree-Bend Park), the Nord- und Südallee (northern and southern tree-lined avenues), the Ebertplatz and the Spreeuferpark (Spree-Shore Park) on the Moabiter Werder. The cut through the Großer Tiergarten (in German) that was made in 1961 for the Entlastungsstraße (“traffic-relief street”), can now be restored again after forty years. Adjoining that area south of the Kemperplatz are the park on the former Potsdam Station area, the Prachtgleis (literally, Track of Splendor), and the new Leipziger Platz.
On February 1, 1999 the Landscape Development and Open-Space Planning Division and the State Planning and Urban Development Division were combined to form the Division of Urban and Open-Space Planning under the Senate Department for Urban Development. Their tasks have been assumed by two commissions, the Landscape-Planning, Nature Conservation and Forestry Commission and the Open-Space Planning and Urban Green Space Commission.
Literature (in German):
Schwerpunkte der Grünpolitik Berlins